Having put aside covetousness and grief....

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Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby phil » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:48 am

Hi all

Hope you've been well over the last few months.

Could someone help clarify for me those words (see title) that appear near the beginning of the Satipatthana Sutta(s)? I have taken them to mean that some sort of precondition to satipatthana has been established, and I assume from the Pali that that must be pretty clear. But I heard a talk tonight in which the speaker (the wonderful Sayadaw U Silananda) said that no, it is to be understood that satipatthana removes covetousness and grief...

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me here. I should go have a look at the commentary, which I have, but it could be a good point to look at together...

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby appicchato » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:06 pm

Hi Phil,

The precondition is being caught in Samsara...being born pretty much guarantees that there will be covetousness and grief somewhere (more like all the way) down the pike...unless (and until) we consciously set them aside...

My read is that while Satipattana may alleviate covetousness and grief only enlightenment will 'remove' them...

This is not to say the Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda is wrong, or that I disagree with him, just the way I 'see' things at this point in time...

Be well... :smile:
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:17 pm

Greetings Phil,

I understand that this refers to putting aside such distractions and engagement with the world in order to concentrate on the subject of one's meditation, namely, the four frames of reference.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby Jechbi » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:06 pm

Here's another translation of the same passage, if it helps put thing into perspective:
Here, monks, a monk abides contemplating body as body, ardent, clearly aware and mindful, having put aside hankering and fretting for the world ...

Your question reminds me of a passage in the Anapanasati Sutta:
Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

There is a certain degree of renunciation (nekkhamma) present in both of these passages. I've generally understood it in that way. fwiw
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:40 pm

hi phil,
it could be said that putting aside covetousness and grief for the world is necessary in order to see the world as it is and thus remove the attachment for it.
If you click on the exploration in my signature there are further thoughts on this line and the rest of MN10 also there
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby phil » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:47 am

Hi all

Thanks for your feedback. I had a look at the commentary, but it's tough to understand when one is in a hurry like I always am...

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby Dmytro » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:50 am

Hi Phil,

'Vineyya' here does not mean complete removal. It refers to the removal of preliminary hindrances, mostly by cultivation of the opposite qualities.

""Having overcome" refers to the discipline of knocking out an evil quality by its opposite good (that is by dealing with each category of evil separately) or through the overcoming of evil part by part [tadangavinaya] and through the disciplining or the overcoming of the passions by suppression in absorption [vikkhambhana vinaya]."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html

There are three main ways to abandon the unskilfull qualities:

- tadanga-pahana - by cultivating the opposite skillful qualities - on the stage of developing virtue;
- vikkhambhana-pahana - by cultivating jhanas - on the stage of developing concentration;
- samuccheda-pahana - by finding and removing the prerequisites of theor arising - on the stage of developing wisdom.

http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/n_r/pahaana.htm

"Tadanga-pahana" is largely forgotten nowadays, and can be found in early texts like

Sallekha sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html

Patisambhidamagga http://bps.lk/bp_library/bp502s/bp502_part3.html

It is the main instrument for preliminary removal of coarse hindrances.

Satipatthanas are practiced after the preliminary removal of hindrances:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .horn.html

Metta, Dmytro
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby phil » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:10 am

Hello Dmytro and all

Thank you for the below, and for the links that I snipped.

Dmytro wrote:Hi Phil,

'Vineyya' here does not mean complete removal. It refers to the removal of preliminary hindrances, mostly by cultivation of the opposite qualities.

""Having overcome" refers to the discipline of knocking out an evil quality by its opposite good (that is by dealing with each category of evil separately) or through the overcoming of evil part by part [tadangavinaya] and through the disciplining or the overcoming of the passions by suppression in absorption [vikkhambhana vinaya]."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html

There are three main ways to abandon the unskilfull qualities:

- tadanga-pahana - by cultivating the opposite skillful qualities - on the stage of developing virtue;
- vikkhambhana-pahana - by cultivating jhanas - on the stage of developing concentration;
- samuccheda-pahana - by finding and removing the prerequisites of theor arising - on the stage of developing wisdom.



Is tadanga-pahana to be understood as a kind of intentional subduing of gross defilements through replacement (i,e the carpenter simile, removing the rotten peg and putting in a good one) so that the mind has better conditions for satipatthana? If I understand correctly, the object of satipatthana must be paramattha, right? So if one were to, for example, generate a reflection on harmlessness (which I personally find more effective than trying to generate loving kindness) in order to subdue repeatedly and forcefully arising hateful thoughts, the object would not be paramattha, it would be conceptual, and therefore not satipatthana, but it would be tadanga-pahana, and tadanga-pahana would be the "putting aside of covetousness and grief" that would help make satipatthana possible? Is that a correct understanding from the point of view of the classical texts?.

Thanks, hopefully what I've written above is clear enough...

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby jhana.achariya » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:36 am

phil wrote:But I heard a talk tonight in which the speaker (the wonderful Sayadaw U Silananda) said that no, it is to be understood that satipatthana removes covetousness and grief...

Hello Phil

Sayadaw U Silananda is correct. The five aggregates (objects of satipatthana) are 'the world'.

Satipatthana applies effort, mindfulness (sati) and sampajanna (clear comprehension) to put aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

:meditate:

There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby phil » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:11 am

jhana.achariya wrote:
phil wrote:But I heard a talk tonight in which the speaker (the wonderful Sayadaw U Silananda) said that no, it is to be understood that satipatthana removes covetousness and grief...

Hello Phil

Sayadaw U Silananda is correct. The five aggregates (objects of satipatthana) are 'the world'.

Satipatthana applies effort, mindfulness (sati) and sampajanna (clear comprehension) to put aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

:meditate:

There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.


Hi jhana-acariya.

Well, I'm still curious about the tense that is usuall translated as "having put aside", which if my very rudimentary knowledge of Pali is correct would be something with a "-tva" in it.
Sayadaw U Silananda says that though that is usually translated as "having put aside" and while there is grammatical reason to do so, it is not correct in his opinion to translate it that way. But I still wonder how we can do that, just ignore the grammatical form used in the original Pali...

Perhaps what I'm getting at is related to the teaching that says the Buddha only taught the deep teachings to listeners whose minds He saw were ready to receive them, after he had taught teachings about basic morality, dangers of sensuality, renunciation, the heavens etc, which would be more conceptual teaching. I sometimes think we are too eager to rush towards the paramattha, and that a preliminary "putting aside", in line with the tense used in the Pali, would be a conceptual ridding of the effect of gross defilements before satipatthana. This is also in line with things I have heard in talks by Sayadaw U Pandita and Sayadaw U Silananda, that sila takes care of gross defilements, and satiapatthana goes to work on the medium ones, if I recall correctly.

So I still wonder about the phrase that is usually translated as "having put aside..." The previous poster (forget his handle at the moment) provides a lot of links that I should read more carefully...


Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:20 am

Hi Retro,

Have you studied the commentary? Actually the tense is not too clear in the translation...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html
After the pointing out of the things that make up the condition connected with the Arousing of Mindfulness through body-contemplation, there is the pointing out of the things that make up the condition which should be abandoned in this practice with the words, "having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief" = Vineyya loke abhijjhadomanassam.
...
"Having overcome" refers to the discipline of knocking out an evil quality by its opposite good (that is by dealing with each category of evil separately) or through the overcoming of evil part by part [tadangavinaya] and through the disciplining or the overcoming of the passions by suppression in absorption [vikkhambhana vinaya].


Mike
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:29 am

Greetings Mike,

Yes, it was the Satipatthana commentary I was thinking of when I wrote the above.

I agree the tense is not particularly clear in the translation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:I agree the tense is not particularly clear in the translation.

Yes, I find that translation of the commentary really frustrating. Some of the terms are rather non-standard, such as when talking about the elements where he uses extension, cohesion, caloricity and oscillation for earth, water, fire, wind elements...
In raising up the foot A [paduddharane] two processes [dhatuyo]: extension [pathavi] and cohesion [apo], are low, weak [omatta honti dubbala], and the other two processes: caloricity [tejo] and oscillation [vayo] are high, powerful [adhimatta honti balavatiyo];

Luckily he gives the Pali, so you can figure it out...
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... dh%C4%81tu

Much of that material is in the Visuddhimagga, with (to me) an easier to follow translation from Venerable Nanamoli...

Mike
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby PeterB » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:32 am

Perhaps a vicious circle has to have a point of entry for it to be broken..
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby Dmytro » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:29 am

Hi Phil,

It's only now that I have read your question.

Is tadanga-pahana to be understood as a kind of intentional subduing of gross defilements through replacement (i,e the carpenter simile, removing the rotten peg and putting in a good one) so that the mind has better conditions for satipatthana?


Yes. In the wider sense, tadanga-pahana is a primary way of removing defilements during the development of virtue.

Such approach is fairly straightforward and easy to apply. However the results may be short-lasting.

If I understand correctly, the object of satipatthana must be paramattha, right?


'Paramattha' is a term from much later texts.

The object of Satipatthana is the development of seven factors of Awakening:



'But what are the qualities that, when developed & pursued, lead to the culmination of clear knowing & release?'

'The seven factors for Awakening...'

'And what are the qualities that... lead to the culmination of the seven factors for Awakening?'

'The four frames of reference...'

'And what are the qualities that... lead to the culmination of the four frames of reference?'

'The three courses of right conduct...'

'And what are the qualities that... lead to the culmination of the three courses of right conduct?'

'Restraint of the senses...

SN 46.6 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#part2-g


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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby catmoon » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:07 am

I just don't get it. What is the point of this discussion? Is there some benefit in it, and if so, for who?
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:00 am

Hi Catmoon,
catmoon wrote:I just don't get it. What is the point of this discussion? Is there some benefit in it, and if so, for who?

What the passage means is quite important in practical terms. Some interpret it to mean that jhana is required to carry out the satipatthana practises. As we have seen, the Commentary does not appear to support that assertion.

A more general answer is that the "Classical Theravada" area is a place to discuss the meaning of the Canon, from the point of view that Vinaya, Sutta, Abhidhamma, and Commentary are authoritative. That may not interest everyone...

Metta
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:27 am

Hi Phil,

phil wrote:Well, I'm still curious about the tense that is usuall translated as "having put aside", which if my very rudimentary knowledge of Pali is correct would be something with a "-tva" in it.
Sayadaw U Silananda says that though that is usually translated as "having put aside" and while there is grammatical reason to do so, it is not correct in his opinion to translate it that way. But I still wonder how we can do that, just ignore the grammatical form used in the original Pali...


I agree with the sayadaw's translation and don't think that he is ignoring the grammatical form. In a sentence that comprises an absolutive like vineyya or vinayitvaa followed by a finite verb, there are several possibilities as to how the actions denoted by the two verbs might be temporally related. Pali primers naturally focus on the commonest one: "Having done this, he then did that." But the next most common construction is one in which the absolutive refers to some ongoing action that is simultaneous with the action of the finite verb. For example, "she walks holding a parasol" would be expressed in Pali as "saa chatta.m gahetvaa gacchati", literally, "she, having held a parasol, walks."

Best wishes,
Dhammanando
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby catmoon » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:21 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Catmoon,
catmoon wrote:I just don't get it. What is the point of this discussion? Is there some benefit in it, and if so, for who?

What the passage means is quite important in practical terms. Some interpret it to mean that jhana is required to carry out the satipatthana practises. As we have seen, the Commentary does not appear to support that assertion.

A more general answer is that the "Classical Theravada" area is a place to discuss the meaning of the Canon, from the point of view that Vinaya, Sutta, Abhidhamma, and Commentary are authoritative. That may not interest everyone...

Metta
Mike



Ahhh. And it seems quite an academic approach is being used. I think I see the problem - it's all a little over my head!

Apologies. :embarassed:
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Re: Having put aside covetousness and grief....

Postby sherubtse » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:52 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
phil wrote:I agree with the sayadaw's translation and don't think that he is ignoring the grammatical form. In a sentence that comprises an absolutive like vineyya or vinayitvaa followed by a finite verb, there are several possibilities as to how the actions denoted by the two verbs might be temporally related. Pali primers naturally focus on the commonest one: "Having done this, he then did that." But the next most common construction is one in which the absolutive refers to some ongoing action that is simultaneous with the action of the finite verb. For example, "she walks holding a parasol" would be expressed in Pali as "saa chatta.m gahetvaa gacchati", literally, "she, having held a parasol, walks."

Best wishes,
Dhammanando


Finally! An explanation of the Pali absolutive that makes sense to me.

Many thanks, Bhante.

With metta,
Sherubtse

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